Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Happy Hooker!

My new crochet hook wrap
I hope you have all had a wonderful Easter; I have!  I have spent it with some of my favourite people, visited the gorgeous Babybee, been on a steam train, had many fabulous meals out, have extended my yarn stash and hook stash and have been busy making!  The holidays aren't over yet and there are many more opportunities to make, buy yarn and attend an art journaling workshop before I return to work next week.  Phew.  I may need a week off to recover.

My Easter weekend purchases

As you may have realised, I am currently loving crochet!  I am most definitley hooked and have a list of projects as long as my arm that I want to have a go at.  Today I have been started a very simple triangular shawl in double crochet stitch which I hope to use for dancing.  It is giving me an opportunity to develop my increasing skills.  I am using a yarn called King Cole Riot which is a variagated yarn 70% acrylic and 30% wool.  It is gorgeous to work with and the colour is looking fab-u-lous!  I can't wait for it to be completed and I am pretty certain that I will be CIP (Crocheting In Public) with it at the hairdressers tomorrow.  Pictures will be posted when it is complete!

To support the development of my crochert skills, I have purchased a book.  It is Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker.  Now, to be honest, I have judged a book by it's cover!  The title was enough for me to hunt down this book in my local craft store and purchase it for the reasonable sum of £10.99.  I simply couldn't resist a book called The Happy Hooker! 

It is a good size book that will fit into a reasonable size handbag and is very well made on glossy, good quality paper.  It is most packed full of great information for new crocheters (like me) nad seasoned hookers! (pardon the pun!)

The book is in two parts, Hooking Up: Learning to crochet and Crochet Away: The patterns.  Part one is divided into 8 further sections. 
Voulez-vous crochet avec moi? Is an interesting and concise background to where crochet has come from and how it is developed and gives a good introduction to crochet.

Tools of the Trade  I never knew there where so many parts to my crochet hook!  Wow!  The conversion guide between UK and US crochet hook sizes is very useful and clear as is the guide to yarn, it's weights and suitability for different projects.

Sections 3, 4, 5,6,7 and 8  These sections are jam packed with the essentials and extras to begin your crocheting addiction.  With clearly written instructions and colour diagrams, a whole range of stitches (both basic and fancy) and guides to increasing, decreasing, finishing and blocking (yay) are explained here in depth!  I will most definitley be revisiting these chapters and am going to mark them with page tabs for easy finding.

Patterns The second part of the book is a vast and varied selection of patterns, from scarves and shawls to jumpers, bag and an iPod cover that looks like an animal!  Many of these patterns I am desperate to have a go at while others (yes I'm talking about the hat that bears a striking resemblance to a plant pot!) I will probably leave for someone else to attempt!  

I definitley recommend this book to all budding crocheters/hookers out there!  It is well worth it's £10.99 price tag and will be abook that will be picked up time and again!  

Saturday, 23 April 2011


It was a normal Monday at work.  Only 2 more get-ups until the Easter holidays and I arrived home ready to chill out with a brew, a choccie biscuit and a magazine.  As I opended the door I saw the familiar grey plastic post bag that contains my new issue of Simply Homemade magazine - my day, brew and choccie biscuit just got a little bit better! So, after feeding the creatures and kicking my shoes off, I sat down to browse through the pages of my beloved magazine and was looking forward to examining the free gifts and taking a peek at possible future projects. 

As I was scanning the pages for articles of interest I arrived at the letters page.  How surprised I was to find a picture of my gorgeous handbag and my email to them staring out at me.  SQUEAL!!!!!  (I feel I am permitted to use capital letters and exclamation marks here) 

I had written this email way back when I got my first ever issue of the magazine in my excitement, and sent a picture of my bag as I thought they may like to see it.  I never in a month of Sundays thought it would actually be published.  I was so excited and pleased.  It is great to see your work in print.

If you would like to see my printed email then it appears in issue 3 of Simply Homemade magazine and, if there happen to be any crafty magazines out there that would like a new writer then please contact me! 

For those of you that haven't seen it, here is said handbag!

Autographs from this handbag can be obtained by emailing thegingerbreadbunny@hotmail.co.uk

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Spring craftiness!

Beautiful sunny weather!

It is a gorgeous, sunny day here in the north of England.  The sky is blue with a dusting of light, fluffy clouds and the sun is shining brightly!  I could be outside, probably getting sunburned, enjoying this unusally beautiful weather; but I'm not.  I am, instead, inside in my lazy clothes making, blogging, and surfing the web!

Today's post is going to be a quick update on what the Bunny has been upto recently and future crafty plans.


I am loving the crochet!  Since the purchase of the monster hook, I have made a gorgeous open knit scarf all in double chain stitch.  The wool is very soft and the colours I just love.

I have nearly finished the Rapunzel scarf from April's Inside Crochet magazine.  The yarn is Noro Silk Garden which is just so soft and when it is finished it will be such a beautiful and unique scarf.  I just have 1 more strip to go and then join it together and it will be finished!  Keep an eye out for a future post.

Gorgeous yarn!  I love you Noro Silk garden.


My sister has comissioned a journal wrap as a gift for her friend.  This one is purple and matches the card she also asked me to make.  (I will post pictures in the future just in case the recipient of the gift see's this! Don't wnt any spoilers.)


I have been reading Treacle and Ink (a brilliant crafty blog with a new, fabulous crafty podcast) and she has made some gorgeous flower pens.  I have made a couple of these as gifts.  I have also been making Easter cards and a horsey themed birthday card have all been completed. (Again, pictures will follow in the future as I have made these for gifts)

I have had a couple of comissions for flowery hair clips from fellow bellydancers.  I so want to keep them but have plenty already!  Aren't they just gorgeous?

Funky feathery clips
 There has, as usual, been lots of journaling.  There is always lots of journaling going on!


The Easter holidays are looming and so I have a long list of crafty projects;

Bunnies for the RSPCA
Other bunny themed items
Fab shawl from the most recent edition of Inside Crochet magazine (Got to learn to block first!)
More journaling!


I am really interesting in getting to know the readers of my blog a little bit better.  Tell me what crafty projects you are working on at the moment! And, if anyone can help me with how to block, please contact me!

Friday, 15 April 2011

We live on a farm!

Well, not literally but it often feels that way!  Whilst I drink my cup of tea after a long day at work, I thought it would be nice to share a little part of my non-crafty life with you, my love of animals.  I have always had pets.  As a child, we had dogs and cats and, when I was a teenager, I had some beautiful tropical fish.  When me and my husband moved into a rented house, we weren't allowed animals.  It was a long 3 years and once we were able to buy our own place within a month we had bought our first pets, the bunnies!

This week we 'acquired' a new addition to our mini farm; Lucozade the Goldfish.  How we acquired him is a very long story but let's just say he wasn't planned and so is currently residing in a large tupperware box in the living room.  He seems very happy and will shortly be moving to a more appropriate abode, complete with shipwreck, skull and hopefully one of those little treasure chests that opens and closes.  Of course, no goldfish home would be complete without funky coloured gravel!

Lucozade the Goldfish!
Over the years, our little farm has expanded.  There are the bunnies, the inspiration behind my crafty name.  (Check out my past blog post, What's in a name?,  with lots of information about these two gorgeous bunnies!  

We also have 4 guinea pigs, Starsky and Hutch and Bodie and Doyle.  Bodie was a rescued guniea pig, Doyle was a baby pig when we got him and Starsky and Hutch where rehomed by a lady who could no longer look after them.  They are all very affectionate and love cuddles. 

Doyle after his bath
 Fred is our surviving hamster.  He used to have a 'friend', George, who passed away a while ago (although they fought and had to be separated so I'm not so sure Fred really noticed!) Fred is my husbands, along with his collection of Giant African Land Snails. 

Fred the hamster (not too impressed at being woken up to have his picture taken)

Snails (They are enormous)

This is the farm so far, not bad for a 2 up 2 down terrace house in the north of England! In the not too distant future we hope to expand with the addition of some chickens in our yard. 


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Making for other people

My Folksy Shop Banner!
This past week has been extremley busy, mainly with work, so I have devoted this weekend to making and generally being a creative soul!  My main aims this weekend were to:

Flower Brooches

Make some zill muffs for my friend Janice (my first comission!)
Make the red wrap for my Folksy Shop
Make some brooches (as requested by my friend Amanda)
Tidy the craft half-a-room (boo!)
List items on Folksy (about time to!)
Have a fab time at the stitch and bitch (my life is so hard)

Jan's Raspberry Zill Muffs!

I am pleased to say that I have achieved all of the above and without too much nagging needed from the husband regarding the whole tidying situation. 

A lot of my making recently has not been for me but for other people whether they be presents, comissions for friends or for my Folksy Shop

I really enjoy making presents and comissioned items for friends.  I get a real buzz from their reaction to having such a thoughtful gift that has obviously been made with love, care and attention.  As has been previously posted on here I made the fantabulous apron for Shinybees birthday and have a hand made present awaiting delivery for Baby Shinybees!  For Mother's Day I made my mother-in-law a crocheted mug hug, that went down really well, and a journal wrap and tub for my Mum which she loved too!

Mug Hug!

Making for my Folksy shop is different, and sometimes more difficult, as there is not a particular person in mind when I'm making.  I always make items that I would like to own as I feel that if they are good enough for me then they are good enough for others!  I have been struggling with what to sell and so have opted to make a few different items to see what sells and have made it clear that I will make custom orders as requested! 

The Red book wrap I made today for sale on my Folksy Shop!

My voyage into online selling for items I have made myself is rather scary but quite exciting at the same time!  I just hope people like what they see!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Put that record on!

This morning, as I was sewing away in my pyjamas, I started to think about what I listened to whilst I craft.  Whilst in my craft half-a-room, I have iPod playing, either music or podcasts, and if I am crafting downstairs then it is usually the televisiion that accompanies my work ( I have to have background noise!!)  So, you may be thinking, what do I listen to?  Lets take a look!


My iPod is packed full of music and it is an eclectic mix to say the least.  There is my rather large indie playlist full of everything from Oasis to the Stereophonics to The Smiths and some Arctic Monkeys thrown in for good measure!  There is also a Pop playlist with more poppy tracks in, a retro playlist with 60's and 70's hits (yes there is some Abba in there!) and the bellydance playlist for when I feel in a more ethnic mood!  Any of these playlists may be chosen to accompany the hum of my sewing machine.  However, when I am journaling I turn to my relaxation playlist which has much more calming music - some Enya, Loreena McKennit and more calm modern music to help me think. 


These are rather a recent discovery of mine.  There are currently 3 podcasts that I follow and download regularly. 

Image courtesy of YIP Podcast
 The first is Yip!  This is an American tribal bellydance podcast produced by Mary and Tammy.  It is a great podcast to listen to if you like tribal bellydance and they cover so much in each episode including music reviews and interviews.  They have a very relaxed approach to podcasting and you feel like you are sat with them having a chat over a cup of coffee. 

Image courtesy of iMake
 The second podcast I listen to is iMake.  It was my friend, Shinybees, who put me on to this podcast!  It is produced by a lovely lady called Martine from Guernsey and is a general crafty podcast.  It covers her crafty exploits (which are varied and interesting) and includes a great segment all about Guernsey( I must say I am now desperate to visit Guernsey and have learnt so much about it!) Again, iMake is presented in a very relaxed style, is well organised and easy to listen to.  A great accompaniment to crafting!

Image courtesy of Electric Sheep
 The third and final podcast I enjoy downloading is Electric Sheep.  I found this through the iMake podcast and it is more of a knitting podcast.  It is presented by Hoxton Handmade who is a London based knitter.  Now then, I am not a knitter and, before listening to this podcast, I was not a crocheter.  However, the episodes include segments on knitting but also an essay section about something completley non-knitting related and some very entertaining bits about patterns and yarn and blogs.  It is another relaxed and easy podcast to listen to.


So as not to appear too unsociable in my home, I do try to spend some time downstairs with my husband.  I like to be busy and find it very difficult to sit still (I even crocheted in the car on the way to Yorkshire last night!)  So, I need crafts that I can bring downstairs and do on the couch.  Art Journaling is not so good for this as there are lots of bits and mess involved!  Crochet, on the other hand, is fantastic for this and so this is my couch/TV/Film craft of choice. 

I would love to hear what you listen to when you craft and would appreciate any recommendations of podcasts I can add to my collection!